Wednesday, November 23 2011
The Flight Into Egypt
The Messiah (see The Messiah's Royal Priesthood and Looking Up To The Messiah: How And When?) was born in Bethlehem, according to prophecy (see the Fact Finder question below). The location of the birth was accomplished by means of a census, as declared by Caesar Augustus, the first of the Roman emperors (see The Politics Of Rome and The Cleopatra Connection).
"2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world [i.e. Roman geographic ignorance and political arrogance defined "the world" merely as the extent of their empire; see Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire] should be taxed. 2:2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
The first human witnesses of the Birth were nearby shepherds, "keeping watch over their flock by night" (which shepherds did not do in winter, or the Roman month of "December" - according to the historical evidence, Christ was born in early autumn). The shepherds arrived immediately after the Birth, while He was still in the manger of the inn.
"2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
"He took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt ... that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son"
The shepherds were men of Judea - Jews (see also Who Were The First Jews?). The Messiah however is the Messiah of all of humanity (i.e. righteous Abraham was a "gentile" by birth; see 'Raghead' Racism). For that reason, God had "gentiles" come, as representatives of all other nations. This was accomplished by the Magi (see Why Did The Magi Come?), who arrived in Bethlehem months later. Their long journey from the east began at the time of the Birth. By the time that they arrived, the Messiah's family was in a house in Bethlehem, where, by then, the Christ was called a "young child," not a newborn infant in a manger ("they were come into the house, they saw the young child").
"2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
It was then that "Herod the Great" (the only thing "great" about him was his evil; see also Whatever Happened To Those Romans?) sought the Messiah, not to worship Him, but to kill Him. While the "wise men" from the east have been traditionally numbered at three ("we three kings of the orient"), primarily because of the three kinds of gifts that they brought ("gold, and frankincense, and myrrh"), the Bible doesn't record how many there were, except that there was more than one - there could have been two, three, or more.
"2:7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 2:8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
Herod then committed the "slaughter of the innocents," which itself attests to the fact that the Messiah was then a "young child," not a newborn infant - the reason that Herod ordered the killing of all male children, "from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men." Joseph was warned to take his family and flee to Egypt, so "he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt."
"2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
The Messiah and His family remained in Egypt until the death of that Herod (see The Herods). When they found that another Herod then reigned in Judea, they returned to Galilee.
"2:19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 2:20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.
Fact Finder: Could anyone who read the Holy Scriptures at the time of the Messiah's first coming have known where He would be born and where He would live His life, including His time in Egypt?
This Day In History, November 23
912: Otto I (the Great) was born. As German king, he was the Holy Roman emperor from 962 to 973 (see Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!).
1248: Seville surrendered to Ferdinand III of Castile after a two-year siege (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1510: Ottoman armies (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) sacked Kutaisi (today in European Georgia).
1531: In Switzerland, the Peace of Kappel was signed, ending the second civil war and ensuring Roman Catholic areas were recognized as part of the Swiss Confederation.
1616: Prospero Alpini died at age 63. The physician and botanist is credited with the introducing of coffee and bananas to Europe.
1654: French mathematician Blaise Pascal, 31, underwent a profound religious conversion. He abandoned science, stating that "the Christian religion obliges us to live only for God, and to have no other aim than Him."
1890: Princess Wilhelmina became Queen of the Netherlands at the age of 10 upon the death of her father William III. Her mother, Queen Emma, acted as regent until 1898.
1936: The U.S. abandoned the U.S. embassy in Madrid, Spain because of the civil war there.
1947: Officials at Jerusalem's Hebrew University first learned of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Originating sometime between 200 BC and 70 AD, they had been found the previous year by two Bedouin boys in a cave near Qumran (listen also to our Sermon The Dead Sea Scrolls).
1959: General Charles de Gaulle, President of France, declared in a speech in Strasbourg his vision for a "Europe, "from the Atlantic to the Urals."
1979: Thomas McMahon was sentenced to life in prison for the assassination of Earl Mountbatten, cousin of Queen Elizabeth.
1980: A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Eboli in southern Italy, killing 2,735 people and injuring at least 7,500. It was Europe's most severe earthquake since 1915.
1985: 58 people were killed when Egyptian commandos stormed a hijacked Egyptair airliner in Malta.
2005: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected President of Liberia, thereby becoming the first woman to lead an African country.